Fafa in tunnel

2017 Union Year in Review: Fafa Picault

Fafa Picault burst onto the scene for the Union in 2017, as the first year signing became one of the Union's best offensive weapons throughout the season. 

Picault signed with the Union on February 2, joining the team in preseason. Picault found himself in the gameday 18 for the team's season opener against Vancouver Whitecaps FC, and made his MLS debut in the 71st minute of the match. Picault came off the bench in the Union's following two matches, but then had a stretch of three games where he was not selected for the gameday 18. 

Against Montreal, Picault was once again in the gameday 18, where he made his fourth appearance of the season. Picault then received his first MLS start when he was on the field for the opening whistle against LA Galaxy. His start kicked off a streak of 12 consecutive starts. 

Picault registered his first MLS goal against DC United, where he became one of three Union newcomers to score in the match. The following game against Houston, Picault scored his second goals in as many games. 

Picault made his first appearance in his hometown of New York City in the Union's match against NYCFC, and naturally, he scored his third goal of the season in the match. His fourth tally of the season came against DC United, and in the next match, Picault registered his first career MLS assist. Picault's start streak was ended when he picked up an injury against Montreal on August 19, but not before he scored his fifth goal of the season in the match.

After missing two matches with an injury, Picault subbed into the Union's match against New England, which started a seven-game appearance streak. Picault went six matches without registering a point, but snapped that streak when he assisted on CJ Sapong's goal against Minnesota United FC. He missed the Union's match against New York Red Bulls, but started the Union's final five matches of the season.

In the team's season finale, Picault played one of the best games of his season. He scored two goals and added an assist, making a big contribution to the Union's most prolific half of soccer in team history.

Picault finished the 2017 season with seven goals and three assists. His seven goals were the most by a Union newcomer in 2017, and trailed only CJ Sapong for the most goals on the team. He appeared in 28 matches, starting 23 and playing more than 1,800 minutes. 

Picault was vital for the Union on the wings in 2017, as his speed created a multitude of opportunities for himself and the rest of the Union attack. Whether it was opening up shooting lanes for CJ Sapong or catching long balls from Haris Medunjanin, Picault's speed gave the Union an element to their attack which they had never really had before. Entering 2018, if he can once again utilize his speed and find the back of the net, he could have an even better season than in 2017.

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